Do you struggle to add a Vegetables (or ⅓ speed foods on Slimming World) to your plate? Think Vegetable First (Speed Foods before Free Foods)
If you constantly find yourself struggling to get a healthy portion of vegetables onto your plate, here is a really great tip that I have been practicing for years now and it really helps to ensure my plate is filled with a good balance of vegetables the majority of the time.
I am not really one for sticking to a strict meal plan, as I tend to change my mind when it comes to the day, so I usually cook by what I fancy and obviously as I food blog, I am coming up with constant new recipes to share with you.
I do have a general idea of what recipes I might create at the start of a week, but it is never really set in stone, as I easily can change my mind and come up with something different.
That said, if meal plans are your thing, I have some great Slimming World Weekly Meal Plans for you to browse through, there are Extra Easy, SP and Vegetarian ones to choose from (with more being added as the time goes on, so keep that link bookmarked, you never know when you might need it)
The best way to ensure you have a good balance on your plate is to think Vegetables First. This works amazingly well at balancing at your plate.
Don't cook free foods first and then think hmmm!! what vegetables can I add? as the chances are that you will skimp on those vegetables and not get the recommended healthy portion. Instead, reverse the process, think Vegetables First. Look in your pantry, fridge or freezer to see what Vegetables you have and then think of what will go best alongside it. Occasionally there might be times when you have certain things that need using up, so you might not always be able to put this advice into place, but the majority of the time it is doable.
Vegetables (especially non starchy varieties) are super low in calories and are nutrient dense so when paired up with other foods it will naturally control the portions on your plate but still create a filling healthy meal. So the more you add the better your weight loss.
Don't forget there are certain vegetables which are starchy and slightly higher in calories, but I still think any vegetables on your plate even the starchy kinds are a great ideas. When it comes to the ⅓ speed foods rule though with Slimming World these are non-starchy vegetables and some fruits only.
Benefit of Speed Foods on Slimming World
Make Vegetables Interesting
It can be easy to become bored of vegetables if you are sticking to the same sort again and again cooking it in the same way too.
Instead think outside the box, each time you go to the grocery store try and see if you can find something new to try, some vegetables are seasonal, so you will see different things pop up around the year.
Also browse local markets and speciality grocery stores for unusual vegetables to try.
Make the vegetables the star of the meal, so look for yummy recipes to try to make it more interest.
Of course there is nothing wrong with just boiling or steaming vegetables, but if you struggle to eat them, then you definitely want to make it more interesting.
If you don't have a vegetable spiralizer, they are a great gadget to invest in, as you can spiral all kinds of different vegetables to make them more interesting and use those to reduce your servings of pasta etc. I recommend table top version instead of handheld ones though, as they are more sturdy and come with a few different blades, plus are able to spiral a bigger selection of vegetables.
Different Ways to Cook Vegetables
Roasting, air frying and sautéing are also great ways to cook vegetables and to give them more flavour, add some of your favourite seasonings and use either spray oil or if cooking for a family of four or more a little olive oil isn't a huge amount of calories and will really enhance the flavour.
Another great option is to top some veggies of your choice with some cheese to make a gratin, and serve this as a filling side instead of a higher calorie option.
Cauliflower is the ultimate vegetable for increasing veggies on your plate, you can use it instead of rice, roast it and even mash it and have it instead of mashed potatoes.
Lastly tray bakes are perfect for increasing vegetables on your plate. Just add some protein of choice along with what ever vegetables you have and some seasoning and you have an easy family meal for dinner.
Tray Bake Ideas
Here are some tray bakes recipes on Slimming Eats, most with a great selection of veggies for a balanced meal.
Searching Recipes on Slimming Eats by Ingredient
Do you have a specific vegetable or ingredient you want to cook, but unsure what to make with it?
Look for the search box right here on Slimming Eats, type your ingredient in the box, hit enter and you will find a recipe using that item.
I love vegetables (I can't say I did as a child) so you will find a great selection and variety to choose from.
Recipes using Vegetables
Here are all the side recipes on Slimming Eats some using healthy vegetables. Why not pick a new one to try:
Support on your Healthy Eating Journey
Are you struggling on your healthy eating journey? Do you need support from a friendly supportive group, to get more recipe, meal idea and general support alongside the recipes here on Slimming Eats. Then come and check out my Facebook group.
Hope this helps 🙂